We at Hope Shines want to make sure people who don’t have the chance to travel to Rwanda have a chance to feel as connected as possible to the kids we serve. The kid profiles are our way of delving deeper into kid’s personal lives and gaining first hand accounts of the benefits they see themselves from Hope Shines. During the week of camp our Communications intern, Savannah, had the opportunity to do a Skype interview with Laurette. We learned a lot and had a blast chatting with her about her life. Read on to meet Laurette!
Describe yourself –How old are you? What do you like to do for fun? Do you have siblings? Where do you live? (Anything the child wants to add to give us a glimpse into who they are)
Laurette is 12 years old and at the P4 level in school (the equivalent of third or fourth grade). She has been enrolled in Hope Shines since last May. She lives with her mom and sister and loves to dance and study. She loves her family very much and cares about being respectful to everyone.
Who do you live with? How do you feel about your living situation?
Laurette enjoys living with her mom and sister, although she believes their situation could be better. They live in a small house that is crowded with only one meal a day and have very few clothes.
What is your favorite subject in school?
Laurette enjoys English, Kinyarwanda (the local language) and Mathematics.
What are you most excited for at summer camp?
Laurette is very excited to see the volunteers and play with them. Her favorite parts of camp in the past have been the dance the volunteers teach, the gift bags and t-shirts they are given, and the guitar lessons.
How do you feel when you think about growing up, being a bigger kid or an adult?
She wants to grow up really fast so she can help take care of street kids. She wants to help them pay for school fees, supplies and anything else they may need to continue school.
What do you hope to do when you grow up for a job/career? Why?
Laurette wants to be a doctor because she sees many people dying from cancer and she hopes she can one day help find a cure for cancer.
How do Hope Shines programs affect your life?
In the past, her mom couldn’t pay for school fees and she would miss lessons and not be allowed to go. Now, she can attend class without being kicked out. She also never used to have health insurance consistently and getting sick was very expensive. Now that she has health insurance she feels more secure.
What is something you have learned from participating in Hope Shines programs?
Some of the lessons she has taken from Hope Shines include being respectful to her elders and all people and learning how to dance. She also has learned a lot from lessons at the (LEAD) After-School program.
What is your favorite pastime?
Laurette likes games and studying. During school she will read a book and study what they learned that day. During holidays she will play with her friends. One game they play is tag. Another is a game with flash cards with countries on them, and if two kids have the same country they will tap each other in the middle. However, if someone sees them going to tap each other they can stop them and they will be out!
What foods do you like? When do you get to eat them? What do you normally eat at home?
She loves to eat rice, meat and spaghetti. However, she eats these things very rarely –almost never. On a normal day, her meal will consist of Posho (Similar to cornbread) and beans. Another common dish is Ugali (A kind of dough made with cassava flower that you swallow whole!).
Explain to me what being a kind person is. If you could help other people in any way, who would you help and what would you do?
A kind person is understanding when you do something wrong and shows forgiveness. They will also tell you when you’re doing something wrong and help children. Kind people do not fight, abuse people or use abusive language.
Laurette would help street children and homeless children by sending them to school by paying school fees and giving them school supplies, clothes and shoes –everything they may need to attend school.
Tell me about your daily routine. What does a normal day look like for you?
Laurette typically wakes up at six and lies in her bed for a bit before opening the house windows and then asks how her family slept. She then cleans herself and the house before cooking and taking her mom food at work. Her mom wakes up at six to walk to the market and buys fruits and vegetables to bring back to their village to sell. After bringing her mom food, Laurette does chores and plays with her friends. When it gets dark she will go back home, close the windows and go to bed at 10 pm. She usually eats lunch as her meal for the day.
How are your grades? Have they improved since joining Hope Shines?
Laurette’s grades are improving, before she was enrolled in Hope Shines she says that she was lazy and didn’t want to do anything. Now, she has more energy and feels like she has more life! She even won camper of the week this year, an award given to the camper who shows the most initiative, kindness, and respect. This is a huge honor to get this at Hope Shines Summer Camp and it even brought tears to her eyes!
Thank for you reading our interview with Laurette! We are so grateful for her time and hope you enjoyed a glimpse into her life and experience. Please consider investing in a child like Laurette today! Click here to DONATE